Apoliticalypse by Peter J Carter

November 18, 2013 Comments Off on Apoliticalypse by Peter J Carter

I can’t say how the end came for everyone; I can only speak for myself.

They appeared on CNN late one October night in a “late breaking” news flash. In flustered face and informational panacea, the reporter rose like a weed from the sidewalk, throttling the mic. She was beautiful.

Her face, like so many of the reporters there, was carved of the same translucent marble that longs to be chiseled by some earless artist. I watched her lips, as millions watched her lips, waiting for them to move; to speak.

“Four Horsemen have arrived in Central Park. The famed Four Horseman of the Apocalypse have arrived and have asked to speak to the people of the world. We go straight to their news conference.”


A short old warrior took the stage first. His face a beaten, creased leather sack that had seen a million fights, laid trodden in prisons from Palestine to Hoa Lo, the ash of effigies’ fires circling his eyes.

“Friends, we must fight. We must fight until there’s no hope left. We must fight beyond our lives. We must fight until those that would rise against us are smashed into an unrecognizable fertile mass that we can mold to plant our seeds. We must fight.”

The next man took the stage looking around to make sure it was his turn. His face was doughy and unlined; a smooth palette waiting for color, the eyes in his head darted about like marbles in a cyclone. He opened his mouth to speak, closed it and thought again how best to start. Closing his eyes in an effort of will, clenching the crumpled notes in his hand, he spoke. “We must wait. We must wait until waiting is all we have. Spurious action will be the end of all. We must wait until we have every fact.” He looked from face to face. “We must wait.”

Then a snowy goddess took the stage. Her ashen robe hung loosely about her shoulders. She looked directly into each eye in the crowd, her pinched lips and hair piled atop her head carried the surety of a million decisions; the building planks of a million ships all resting there. “We must act.” she said. “We must destroy the little things that detract us. We have to dissect each bug, rip off their little legs so we might see them wander in circles; aimless. We have to act to smooth the road, for if we stop, we will stop. We must act.”

After a moment, the last took the stage; a hollow skull, taut vellum skin covering an eggshell, pulsing eyes leaking blood, a friendly smile of bones reassuring all. “We must die. Only in death can all be equal. Only then, can we share all that we have. Only when we give everything, can we hold nothing. We must die. We must die.”

I turned the TV off and sat watching my reflection in concave gray. I picked up the remote and pried off the power button. My reflection in concave gray did the same.

© Peter J Carter

Pete Carter lives on Cape Cod where he did most things wrong until he married. After twenty years and two children, he decided he is much happier being right, if only occasionally. He most often writes short stories and has published with Static Movement, Bewildering Stories, Theatre of Decay, Oddville Press, Battered Suitcase, Full of Crow, Ray Gun Revival and a few anthologies. While working on a degree in Bio-chemistry, he dropped out of school and became an automotive part’s man; amazed that the two fields were startlingly similar. He is currently building a time machine with parts found in the trash.

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